The Birthday Party at Hebgen Lake

by | Jul 30, 2011 | Beef, Family Traditions, Recipes, Travel

Grilled marinated tri-tip

My family and I just spent an amazing week with our cousin Becky Foster and her family at Hebgen Lake in West Yellowstone, Montana. Becky’s parents have owned a beautiful log cabin that overlooks Hebgen Lake for many years. The first day we arrived was Kelsie Foster’s 17th birthday. A few of the neighbors from the surrounding cabins were invited to the cabin for Kelsie’s birthday dinner.  One of the neighbors brought some great sauteed green beans, another family supplied fireworks, and we provided Livermore Valley wine (a Cuda Ridge cabernet). Becky had been marinating some beef tri-tips from California for a couple of days, which her husband Harold grilled to perfection. She also made some outstanding mashed potatoes, pasta salad, and green salad.  While waiting for dinner, our daughter Laina gave the other teens henna tattoos.

Hebgen Lake near West Yellowstone, Montana

One of the henna tattoos

The teens amusing themselves before dinner

During dinner there were lively conversations and lots of laughs. We enjoyed a delicious cake from a bakery in West Yellowstone and after dinner we were treated to an incredible fireworks display that was provided by the neighbors from Kansas. What a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday!  Below is the marinade recipe that Becky used to marinade the tri-tips. It is a recipe that Becky had provided for our cookbook. I often use the recipe at home and really enjoy it. I hope you will too. 

The birthday cake

Meat and Game Marinade 

– Makes about 1 1/4 cups

We used to have this growing up when dad would go deer hunting. It was so good with fresh venison. About 2 pounds would be cut into 2-inch cubes, coated well with the marinade and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. It is much better if you can let it marinate overnight. You can also marinate a whole flank steak or tri tip and then barbecue it. Be sure to slice it on the diagonal. Also try dredging cubes of marinated meat in flour and frying them in oil, turning once, until cooked. -Becky Calhoun Foster


  • 3/4 cup salad oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)


In a nonreactive pot or bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, honey, garlic powder, and garlic. Place the meat to be marinated in a glass pan or gallon sized freezer bag and cover with marinade. Let meat sit in marinade for at least 6 hours. Turn meat occasionally during marinating to ensure all sides are marinated. 

~merry carter~